Ondansetron is effective in reducing diarrhoea in patients with irritable bowel

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Goodfellow Gems

"Ondansetron is effective in reducing diarrhoea in patients with irritable bowel"

I can think of a patient of mine who has the diarrhoeal form of irritable bowel disease. He finds being away from toilets quite stressful as unplanned defecations are embarrassing. He was delighted to hear that there may be a solution to his problem. This study found that 65% of those on ondansetron 4 mg to 8 mg tds (titrated against symptoms) reported relief while only 14% on placebo had the same result. There were fewer days with urgency (p<0.001), lower urgency scores (p<0.001), reduced frequency of defaecation (p=0.002) and less bloating (p=0.002), although pain scores did not change significantly. This gives a numbers needed to treat of 2 but still means that 35% of patients do not get benefit. However it is useful to have this in the armamentarium.

Reference http://goo.gl/BcMVee (Gut. October 2014)

Gems are chosen by the Goodfellow director Dr. Bruce Arroll to be either practice changing or practice maintaining. The information is educational and not clinical advice.

As published in NZ Doctor 19/12/2014